Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Service" Stations: A Thing of the Past?

Call me lazy, but I HATE to stop to get gas.  I will run my gas hand as close to that little "E" that I can.  I just hate to have to stop, go in and pay, go back out and pump it.  It's such a hassle.  And, since I rarely have any money in the bank, I can't just swipe my debit card, and go for it. 

Gone are the days when you could simply drive up to the pump, a guy would come out, ask how much, pump it for you, and you would just pay him.  If you needed change, he would reach into his pocket and pull out a big roll of money, and make change right then and there.  And, if you needed it, he would check your oil, and clean your no extra charge!  I remember those days.  I wish that the gas stations of today would go back to the "service" stations of yesterday.

Today I decided to go visit my mom and dad, since it's been awhile.  When I headed out to go there, I realized that I really should stop and get gas.  There were no gas stations on the road that I took to get there, and I would have to go out of my way just to fuel up.  Plus, I really had to pee, and I just wanted to get to my parents' house.  So, I drove slowly, not pressing the gas pedal very hard, in an effort to conserve what little gas was left in the bottom of the tank.  Heck!  I probably drove down there on fumes!  I made it.  I had a nice visit with them.  When I got ready to leave, I remembered that I still needed to get gas as soon as possible.  Then my dad said, "If you'll go over to William's, they'll pump it for you.  You might have to pay a penny more per gallon."  I told him that I would gladly pay a penny more a gallon just to not have to get out in the cold and pump gas!  So, I left there, still taking it easy so that I could make it to this "Williams".  I pulled up to the pump, and looked around at another vehicle already there to see if the guy standing there was actually pumping gas for that person.  He was.  And, even though the sign on top of the pump said "this pump self service," he left his post at the other vehicle, and came over and asked me how much.  He got the pump started, headed back over to the other vehicle to finish theirs up, and another man came out to finish mine.  He came up to the window.  I paid him.  He took out his roll of cash, gave me change, and made a friendly comment about the weather.  I drove out of there so happy that I didn't have to get out and do all that and wishing that there were more of these "service" stations around.  You just can't beat good service.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook for January 25, 2010

FOR TODAY:  Monday, January, 25, 2010

Outside my's a very windy, cloudy, chilly day.

I am thinking...if I should cook supper since the kids have already eaten a frozen pizza.

I am thankful family.

From the learning rooms...I have been learning the basics of PhotoShop via YouTube.

From the kitchen...chaos.

I am wearing...white tennis shoes, khaki pants, and a blue sweatshirt.

I am creating...only this meme.

I am watch the practice "run through" by the show choirs tonight as they get ready for competition.

I am reading...Shape magazine.

I am stick to my weight-loss plan this time.

I am hearing...the clothes dryer running, and the video game playing in the other room.

Around the house...lots of clutter.

One of my favorite things...getting to see my new granddaughter, Millie.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  not much planned right now except for work each day through Friday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

My sweet granddaughter watching her dad brush his teeth! Isn't she a cutie?!

  Join this meme over at Peggy's Simple Daybook blog.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Great Show Last Night

We attended the 9th (I think) annual Sweets and Songs last night.  I left my camera in the car :( , so I had to "borrow" a picture from a friend on Facebook.  There were no pictures to be had, so far, of the band, so I will post a picture of my bass-playing son, before the show, at the end of this post. 

The show was awesome, as always.  The middle school show choir, VocalPoint, blew me away!  They did a lovely ballad with some awesome soloists.  It was called "Up On The Mountain."  It is a song written by a singer named Patty Griffin.  It's a tribute to MLK.  I had probably heard the song before, because Kelley Clarkson has sung it a few times on television, but it made such an impact with these young people doing it last night.  It was so powerful that I want to post the video of Patty Griffin singing it.  Let me know what you think about it.  I hope to be able to post a video of VocalPoint singing it soon.

Jordan plays bass for the main act, Centerstage!.  The show this year is a bit odd.  It will be interesting to see how it does in competition.  The kids are great in it.  It is centered around the idea of finding out WHO you are.  There are some faceless dancers and some disguises and masks involved which contribute to the strangeness of it all, but it will definitely be unique! 

So, here is a pic of Jordan that I promised.  He is turning in to quite a handsome young man.  He will be 16 in April.  My baby is growing up!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Enjoying Saturday

Ahhhh!! It's Saturday.  My favorite day of the week.  The first day off from the work week...and still one more to go.  The house is quiet, all except my pug/French bulldog snoring in the floor.  Kevin has gone hunting with a good friend, and the boys are still asleep, nevermind that it's noon!  Jordan must be getting up because he has to be at the school in an hour to perform (bass guitar) at the annual "Sweets and Songs" choir show. You get to go sit back, eat a few brownies, cookies, etc., all while enjoying watching Albertville's students perform.  It's their first public performance this year which kicks off the start of show choir season.  It also acts as a fundraiser for the choir programs.  I posted about last year's Sweets and Songs here.  I look forward to posting some more pictures after tonight.

I'm back on the bandwagon again.  I'm trying to lose some weight.  I started last week by counting calories.  Fridays are my weigh in days, and this week I lost 6 pounds!  That didn't even include exercise!  But, I know that I will have to start adding exercise, so I bought a dvd of  a "Dancing With The Stars" workout.  I did a little of it this morning.  It is going to be a fun workout...especially since Maks is one of the instructors!  I'll be learning some of the cool dance moves that they do on the show, too.  I love to dance!

Justin came for a visit yesterday.  He didn't bring Millie because she has a snotty nose and has been coughing.  Hopefully, she will get better soon, so that she can come see her Granda!  I miss that little thing, but it was nice getting to spend some time with Justin.  We went to Huddle House for supper last night.  And then, we just hung out at home for a bit before he had to make his way back to Scottsboro.

So, that's the jist of my weekend so far.  What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A "Meaning To" Kind of Day

Well, you can tell by the lack of my blog posts that school has finally gotten started back after the holidays and the Winter weather.  But, I took a much-needed "home alone" vacation day today.  I did it on a whim.  It was rainy this morning when I got up, and I thought, "Boy. I wish I could stay home."  So, I did!  GO, ME!!  It's okay.  I have vacation days and a personal day built up at work, so I was NOT playing hooky!  Nothing pressing was on my schedule at work, so I went for it!  And, while I would like to say that I sat in my pajamas all day and watched television (that will be another upcoming vacation day), I did some things around the house.  I did some of those "meaning to" things.  You know, I've been "meaning to" strip the paint off my front door for painting.  I've been "meaning to" declutter my area of coupons, newpapers, and mail.  I didn't wear myself out, though.  I just did it at a slow pace.  Of course, I didn't get done with any of it, but I did get a good start for when the next "meaning to" mood strikes me.  I even hung the little flower frames that I bought at a yard sale LAST year, as in 2008.  I had been "meaning to" hang them in my purple laundry room for quite some time now.  And, it felt good.  It felt good to clear out a little more clutter.  It felt good to strip some more paint from my door...even though it is not a very welcoming site to visitors, but it will be...when I finish day.  And, it felt good to hang those little pictures. 

What have you been "meaning" to do?  Why don't you take five minutes and just do it or just start it?  I look forward to reading your "meaning to's."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Time To Whip It Back Into Shape

The laundry is going.  The dishwasher is running.  Now it's time to get this house back into shape after being without water for so long.  If I can get my laundry room and kitchen clean and organized, the rest of the house should be a breeze.  I had thought about just loading all the laundry up and taking it to the laundromat, but then I decided just to do it at home.  That way I can be working on everything else! 

At least I feel pretty good today.  I had a bad headache most of the day yesterday.  We took our 2 boys out to Santa Fe to eat last night.  It was great, as usual.  I've begun to watch what I eat again.  I have absolutely GOT to get some of this weight off.  I am so tired of being fat!  I've said it before, but you know how it goes...  Anyway, you know what "they" say (whomever they are),  if at first you don't suceed, try, try again.  Also, there's one that goes something like, "You never fail, until you quit trying."  So, here I go again.  The key for me is to stay motivated by reading daily about ways to lose weight.  The obstacles for me are my husband and my boys.  My husband will go along with me, and try to eat healthy.  We bring good things in from the grocery store, but somewhere along the way, we go back to our old junk food ways.  And the kids gripe because we don't have any snack foods.  I guess they'll just have to get over it. 

I miss my grandbaby.  I am going to try to make a trip to Scottsboro tomorrow.  Kevin is on call, so he won't be able to go.  Justin is going to start school on Tuesday evening.  He has signed up with The University of Phoenix in Chattanooga.  He will take one class at a time, once a week (for about 4 hours), and be finished with that one in about 6 weeks.  He will then move on to the next class.  He is taking classes for graphic design and business.  Chelsea got a waitress job at Ruby Tuesday in Scottsboro, so they have a little money coming in now.  Justin is looking for a part-time job that will allow him to go to school, also.  Millie is now 2 months old.  Justin said that she wants to eat all the time!  She has a fat little face.  She is just so darn cute!  I'll post a picture, but that still does not show just how cute she REALLY is!  She's Granda's cute baby!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Be Thankful for the Little Things, Too

It's Day 7 and guess what!  I HAVE WATER!  Running water!  Glorious water!  Unfortunately, I have dirty laundry, too. Lots of it.  But, I can handle that because I HAVE WATER!!!  YAY!!!! 

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.  We survived this, and I'm sure we'll survive the next obstacle that comes along.  We got an extra blessing out of this.  The water company fixed our side of the pipes, as well as their side, AND they put gravel all the way up my drive-way.  They moved our water meter over, and dug it a little deeper so that the pipes will be unlikely to freeze the next time temperatures dip into the teens.

Never take anything for granted.  Be thankful for the little things.  I know that I am. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 6 and Counting: What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Still no water.

Found out today that it's frozen on our side of the meter AND on the power/water company's side.

They are coming tomorrow to correct their side and move the meter over.

Hopefully, we will have running water by the time I get home from work.

I have a TON of laundry just waiting.

My house is a mess.

We've eaten takeout every night because the dishes are all dirty. EWWWW!!!

I've got my work cut out for me once it starts working again.

I've been touched by all the friends who have offered to bring water, to let us use their shower & laundry room, and one who actually offered to DO my laundry...maybe I should have SERIOUSLY considered that one!

Remembering that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 4: Still No Running Water

Temps are supposed to be up close to 50 tomorrow.  If my water does not thaw out, I'm going to scream!! 

At least my boys are getting a lesson in not taking things for granted! 

Maybe I'm getting that lesson, too.

Thanks for all your prayers for us and our water situation.  But, it really could be worse.  At least we have friends and family who have gratefully offered to help us out.  It's a little inconvenient to have to go shower elsewhere, but we do have heat and electricity.

 Here's to hoping that tomorrow will be a breakthrough day!

Monday, January 11, 2010

3 Days and Counting

Despite hubby's best efforts, we are still without water.  Here's hoping that tomorrow with be our breakthrough day. Pray for water for us, please! :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Running Water is a Beautiful Thing

The mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that ‘W-A-T-E-R’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, joy, set it free.
Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

I'm cold! It has been so cold around here the past few days.  School was dismissed for Thursday and Friday.  We didn't get as much snow as I had wanted, but we did get some figid temperatures!  We awoke Saturday morning to no water due to frozen pipes.  As I sit here writing this on SUNDAY night, we are still without water!  The temperature has not gotten above freezing to thaw anything out.  To his dismay, Kevin went under the house several times yesterday trying to thaw out pipes.  Nothing worked.  I guess we will just let Mother Nature run her long as she does it tomorrow!  The temperature might make it to 40 tomorrow...if we're lucky.  Maybe that will do the trick on our pipes.  I certainly hope so. Yesterday we went and bought a few gallons of cheap water at Walmart.  Today, we took those unempty gallons and filled them up at Kevin's dad's apartment.  My boys are not too keen on going elsewhere to shower, so I think they are going to take a chance that it will be thawed tomorrow.  But, that will mean that they are going to school without having had a shower for 2 days!  I know, I'm such a bad mother.  At least they have not done anything strenuous to break a sweat.  It is not possible to break a sweat with weather like this, anyway!  Hopefully, a little deodorant will do the job. 

We have learned our lesson.  Kevin said that he plans to buy some heating tape to wrap around the pipes, and I will be sure to stockpile some water the next time that freezing temperatures are in our forecast!!  I will also make sure that I leave a stream of water running at night.

So tomorrow it is back to work, back to school, and hopefully, running water when we get home! 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Cold day,
 frozen pipes,
can't wash. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A True Auburn Fan's View of Tonight's Game

Tonight is a big night in the state of Alabama.  I'm not talking about the snow, either.  The Alabama Crimson Tide will be playing for the national championship.  To an Auburn fan like me, this is not a big deal...unless Alabama gets beat.  You heard me correctly.  I know, I live in Alabama.  Alabama is in the SEC, and I should cheer for all the SEC teams in their bowl games, but I just can't do it in this instance.  There are some fans that say, "I'm for Alabama and Auburn, except when they play one another."  But, I say, "I'm for Auburn and anybody who plays Alabama."  I would even go as far to say that you are not a true Alabama fan or a true Auburn fan if you say otherwise about your team.  Not in this state.  You must claim your allegiance once you cross that state line.  Are you Alabama or are you Auburn?  There's no in-between.  Not in this state.  It is one of the biggest rivalries in college football when the two play each other in the Iron Bowl.  And you never know how the game will turn out.  One of the teams could be having the worse season ever, but when both teams step on the field, that doesn't matter.  And everyone knows it.  Auburn came out this year with both barrels blazing.  There were some worried Alabama fans, and the Auburn fans were ecstatic at how well Auburn was playing.  Too bad that Auburn couldn't keep it up and win the game...but there's always next year. 

From what I've heard, Texas is the underdogs in this fight.  And to my Alabama friends and family, I love you, no matter what.  But, I can't end this post without saying,


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Let It Snow! A Tale of Milk and Bread

I guess you can guess by the title of this blog post that I am looking for snow.  Snow is in the forecast for northeast Alabama, and I could not be more happy about it!  It is a rare event here, where all the conditions must be just right.  Well, it seems that they are.  At least, I hope that they are right!  We have been disappointed many times in past Winters when the weather people have forecast snow, only to awaken to just cold.  But, so far this year, they have been pretty much correct.  Also, it has already snowed a dusting, that they predicted, just a few weeks ago.  That's another thing that makes me put more stock in their forecast this time.  Around these parts, (like my "Southern" talk?) it doesn't snow until February, March, or even April!  The biggest snow that I have ever seen was the Blizzard of 1993...and it happened in March.  I think the school kids were our for Spring Break!  Of course, mine were just toddlers at the time.

Just the mention of the "S" word in my "neck of the woods" (aren't you impressed with all my Southern sayings?) is enough to get E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E around here to head to the grocery store.  Gotta get our "snow groceries," after all!  And, once you get inside the store, you will find that the milk and the bread is depleted!  There's a running joke around here that the weatherman and the milkman are in cahoots (there's another one) with one another.  I can just hear it now...

Milkman (calling the weatherman):  Well Joe, the price of milk has gotten so high that sales are down.  I also have a butt-load of bread that I need to sell before it goes stale.  Do you think you can help a lowly ol' milkman out?

Weatherman:  Sure, Mike.  I'll just call for maybe a flurry or two.  Do you think that will help?

Milkman:  It sure will, Joe!  You remember how they flocked to the store for milk and bread the last time you did that.  I had to make 2 runs to the same store in one day!  It sure helped my commissions!  You know, a guy needs those every now and then.

Weatherman:  You got it, ol' buddy. Anything to help out a friend!

They have already cancelled school for tomorrow and Friday.  And, if you are reading this from somewhere other than Alabama, you will think that's crazy.  But, we are just not equipped to deal with snowy, icy roads around here.  It doesn't happen enough to warrant the purchase of all the equipment it would take to truly be prepared.

So, now we wait.  We wait to see when it will start, and we wait to see how much we will get IF it does.  WHEN it does, I'm prepared.  I've already bought my milk and bread!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

That's What It's All About

We had a pretty good New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.  Kevin had to work NYE, but I hit him up to take me to the movies to finally see New Moon!!  It was great. Now I can't wait for it to come out on DVD so that I can add it to my Twilight series collection.  We went to the 6:00 showing, and then we decided to go ahead and come home.  Chase and Jordan were each at different places celebrating with their friends.  Hubby and I watched the ball drop on 11 p.m.  We get a raw deal in the central time zone as far as a televised countdown goes. Anyway, try as we may to stay up until midnight, we could not hold our eyes open!  Don't say it!!  I know what you're thinking, "Old Fuddie Duddies!"  I am NOT!! :)  Well, I'm NOT as young as I once was; I'll admit that!  So, off to sleep we 11:30ish.

On New Year's Day we took it easy.  The boys made it home.  I started cooking a traditional Southern New Year's Day meal.  We had fried chicken, fried potatoes, cornbread, black-eyed peas, and collard greens.  The black-eyed peas, and the collards are a must have on New Year's in the South.  They symbolize the luck and money that you will have throughout the year, if you partake of their goodness.  My family loved the meal.  Well, except for the collards.  I don't really know of any children or teens that will eat them.  I mean, I didn't even eat them when I was a kid, but now they are oh so good!  I guess that comes with my "old age!" ;)  But, doesn't it all look so scrumptious?!!  And, don't forget the hot sauce for those peas & collards!

Today we braved the frigid 30-degree weather and went to Scottsboro to see Justin, Chelsea, and Millie.  There, we made chili, and hung out a bit.  We watched Justin play Wii Fit.  It really does look like something that I could get in to.  I may have to save up and purchase a Wii and the Wii Fit game.  I've ready many blogs and tweets about women who are using it for their workouts.  I'll keep you posted on that.  Anyway, the highlight of the day was getting to see this little thing...

We made it back home around 7:00 this evening.  I perused the available new releases on our cable On Demand program.  I found the perfect movie to watch, Up.  It was such a heart-warming movie.  I highly recommend it.

So that is how my New Year's Eve and New Year's Day went.  We didn't do all the typical partying.  We just hung out and enjoyed life.  Isn't that what it's all about, anyway?